Sacramento City Commission approved on Monday to purchase about 20 new water meters, which mayor Betty Howard said will help to address the city's water loss problem.

The city purchased a $6,000 starter kit of radio read drive-by meters to allow for digital readings. The kit includes 20 water meters, as well as all the hardware and training needed to operate the items.

These meters are just the start of what Howard hopes will be the eventual updating of all 800 meters within the city limits.

"Sacramento has a lot of old meters, some 30 to 40 years old, and the water loss report reflects that," Howard said. "We have been doing everything we can to bring that water loss number down, but one of the things to do is replacing meters."

The water loss is running at 23-24%, Howard said, but sometimes the loss goes higher than that.

The cost of replacing all 800 meters will run about $160,000, which is why Howard is suggesting the city conduct the replacements in phases.

"We agreed (Monday night) to go ahead and purchase the start kit," Howard said. "Then we can purchase meters as we want to install, and how we are able to install them" even if that means replacing 10 or 20 of them a month.

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Other matters discussed during the monthly commission meeting included:

• Second reading of the 2018-19 amended budget;

• Second reading of the 2019-20 budget;

• And the second reading of amended cost of sewer pump and road bore ordinance;

The next Sacramento City Commission meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. July 15 in City Hall, 218 West Third Street.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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